Certainly not someone like Devon - straight A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can't even imagine. Now Devon's in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder. If she's tried as an adult, she faces life in prison.
Does Devon deserve that punishment? Your answer depends on whether you believe her story - that she didn't even know she was pregnant. Was she buried in denial so deep that she was unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy? Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?
With the utmost empathy and precision, author Amy Efaw carefully peels back the layers of Devon's past as she faces a possible future behind bars. The result is a gripping page-turner that will challenge your beliefs about conscience and consciousness. (Taken from inside flap)
I was kind of wary about reading After because it sounded so gruesome and chilling that I didn't know if I could get through it. I mean, the book is about a young girl throwing her baby in the trash. Who could do something that awful? I thought it would be interesting to learn about Devon and learn what caused her to commit this horrible act. Even though I did not agree with Devon's actions at all, Amy Efaw did such a wonderful job at writing Devon that I understood why she would do what she did. It amazed me that Devon could be in denial for so long about being pregnant, but the author actually made me believe it.
I loved that a large chunk of After took place in a courtroom. I love legal shows and crime dramas like Law and Order, so this was right up my alley. The lawyer assigned to Devon, Dom, is awesome. She's so smart and really helps Devon. What annoyed me about Devon, though, is that she was, at time, unwilling to give Dom the information that she needed to run a succesful defense. I knew the experience was traumatizing, but I would be doing anything in my power to get the least harsh sentence possible. But not Devon. And I thought that the ending was the WORST. ENDING. EVER! If you read this book, you will understand what I'm talking about, but if I was the writer that is not how I would have ended the book. It didn't even make sense to me. Unfortunately, that ending will bump down my rating a bit.
Besides that, I really got into After. I wanted to know what happened so I kept reading. Sometimes late into the night when I was supposed to be asleep. So if you think you can bear it, I would definitely recommend After, especially to those who like law and legal matters.
7.5 out of 10. (Would have been an 8, except for the ending)
FTC: I borrowed After from my library.